Jessica Zielinski, a sophomore at the University of New Haven from Madison, Conn., has been awarded an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship. She is one of only 40 students from around the United States who will participate in the program.
The two-year fellowship is highly competitive and provides tuition support, a monthly stipend, equipment, travel funds and a paid internship during the summer at an EPA facility. The fellowship is worth $50,000.
“This award recognizes the outstanding work Ms. Zielinski did during her freshman year,” said Ron Harichandran, dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering. “She has demonstrated that she is able to compete on a national level, and we are very proud of her.”
An honors student majoring in sustainability studies at UNH, Zielinski is the daughter of David and Sherri Zielinski of Dunkirk, N.Y.
“I am grateful for the opportunity and excited to work with UNH and the EPA on this research in the coming years,” she said. “I think the research I will be involved in during this fellowship will be valuable both as a learning opportunity and as a chance to benefit communities and their environments, both built and natural.”
Zielinski also is working on a donor-supported summer undergraduate research fellowship this summer at UNH. She is studying how the campus community generates and disposes of waste. The waste includes non-recyclable trash as well as recyclables and items that could be reused or donated, especially at the end of the semester when people move out, she said.
“By the end of the project, my goal is to launch some projects that will involve other students, staff and faculty in a waste awareness and minimization campaign on campus,” she said.
Zielinski was a member of the UNH Green Team last fall and is a member of the Undergraduate Student Government Association’s sustainability committee. She is an intern with the United Illuminating Clean Energy Communities, which gathers utility data in order to inform local municipalities about energy usage.
After graduation, Zielinski hopes to work in urban planning.